Non passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) has cost Nigeria $250 billion in the last five years, Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) said on Wednesday..
NEITI stated that some of the losses are made up of projected investments, put at $120 billion, which had been deferred due to regulatory uncertainty; excluding investors’ anticipatory input of over $100 billion.
According to the organization, President Muhammadu Buhari could still rectify the error by ensuring that his administration will not go down as one, which also failed to pass the bill into law, for what the country stands to gain.
The agency expressed sadness that the bill, which could have saved Nigeria from its present economic predicament had not been passed by the National Assembly in the past eight years that it has been with it.
“There is need for President Buhari to take the lead by investing his presidential capital on this all-important legislation, putting in place a mechanism for rallying the stakeholders to a consensus, and using this law as one of the pillars of the bridge to a much needed economic recovery.
“The losses in economic terms, as a result of the non-passage of the Bill, had equally been denying Nigeria huge foreign reserves, which is directly causing the present scarcity of dollar and consequently devaluation of the naira” said a director in the agency.
It is also believed that the only source of supporting Nigeria’s imports profile of over $26.4 billion worth of refined petroleum products would have been if the PIB is operational, many investors, locally and internationally would have come to build refineries in the country.
NEITI said more than 30 percent of the workforce in Nigeria will be taken up by the liberalisation, expected to have taken place in the petroleum sector, but this has been stalled by lack of interest in seeing that government hands off the sector.
Comparing Nigeria with. Ghana’s experience, the agency said in passing its own petroleum bill into law, Ghana had achieved a lot even though it is a new oil producing country,
By Emma Eke.
Ripples Nigeria…without borders, without fears
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